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Judges Profile

Deirdre King

Deirdre King

Jacaranda FM (94.2)
Managing Director
Category: Positive Role Model

Ask anyone on Deirdre’s team to describe her in a few words, and they’d say “honest, direct, and daring”. Her decisive approach leaves little room for ambiguity – “when people know where they stand, they also know it’s okay to fall – and that’s a big part of my attitude towards team-building” – Deirdre King.

Like most of us, Deirdre didn’t end up in her initial idea of a career. During her law studies at the University of Pretoria she worked at the Irene Film laboratories. A deep passion for film sparked a career in content, with post-production, and then television commercial production as her departure point.

After a bit of grease behind the wheels, Deirdre started a successful integrated marketing communications agency – Purple Apricot. Her established network of clients included big brands like Steers, Debonaires, KFC, Microsoft Channel Partners, and Fujitsu Services to name a few.

At Mortimer Harvey – one of the largest independent marketing, sales and integrated communications agencies in Africa and the Middle East; Deirdre headed up the Below the Line and Public Relations division for Fast Moving Consumer Goods clients in pharmaceutical, media, and TV( BBC and Food Network.) She did similar work setting up a new retail division at Joe Public, another prominent agency.

One of her proudest career moments remains catching the eye of The Walt Disney Company who asked her to Head up Marketing & Communications for Africa. The role required an in-depth understanding and passion for content, laced with super-size doses of creativity – “If you want a masterclass in creative content development, work across multiple lines of business and different global brands including Disney, Disney Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars. I can’t express the knowledge I acquired in my time there well enough”

Before joining the Kagiso Media team, Deirdre was General Manager Brand Experience (India, Middle East, Africa) for Nando’s; A South African brand most marketers consider the holy grail of marketing output – Deirdre finessed her nuanced skill of brand building through experience – a skillset highly valued in the post-COVID business landscape.

Deirdre now has the task of managing one of South Africa’s biggest and most loved radio stations – Jacaranda FM as the newly appointed Managing Director. After a seasoned career in content and brand experience production, Deirdre will focus on honing these skills with her team at the radio station.

A few lesser known facts about Deirdre; Deirdre combined her creative idea and frustration around not finding the type of natural organic make-up she wanted; this drove the creation of DV8 – a 100% pure mineral pigment for various make-up applications. She grows her own veggies, she abhors energy drinks, and spoils her two fur babies Emma and Olivia shamelessly.


Important time changes

  • South Africa – Entries extended to 16 June 2024
  • East and West Africa entries open until 31 July 2024